McKinney man who claimed wife’s murder was an accident gets life sentence

<div>Joel Torres</div>
Joel Torres

McKINNEY, Texas - A McKinney man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering his wife.

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis’s office said 24-year-old Joel Torres shot and killed his common-law wife, Shailene Valez, inside their home in 2021.

Torres told police he was trying to clear his gun of a jammed bullet when the fatal shooting occurred. He claimed he was standing about 4 to 5 feet away from her.

But during the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that proved the gun was only 9 inches away from Valez’s body when she was shot.

They also showed jurors video of the couple arguing shortly before the shooting and evidence suggesting the crime scene was staged.

Jurors convicted Torres of murder and sentenced him to life in prison.

"No matter how many lies or twists Torres told, the evidence told the true story and the jury saw him for who he really was. He murdered someone he was supposed to love and one day marry. May he spend every day of the rest of his life in prison thinking about that," DA Willis said after sentencing.

The jury considered Torres’ criminal history, which included drug charges, and testimony about his violent nature when deciding on a punishment.